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Prime location results in National City, Chula Vista joint development project

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Along state highway 54 and just east of state highway 5 sits a 26-acre site that has seen many uses, including a drive-in, swap meet and car lot. The Derr family, owners of the property, is partnering with San Diego-based developer Colton Sudberry to create a mixed-use project that will benefit both National City and Chula Vista. The anchor tenant will be a Lowe's with additional development along the Sweetwater Channel. The project is expected to be complete in 2011. The entire development is just east of National City Boulevard and the National City Mile of Cars. The easy access and high visibility makes the property an ideal site in many respects. However, there have been challenges including the economy. Another obstacle has been the site itself -- which sits in two different cities.

To overcome this, National City and Chula Vista have accepted the challenge at a city council and staff level. By agreeing on various facets of the development to assist the process, both communities stand to gain from the project. Two years ago the respective city councils unanimously adopted guiding principles that facilitated planning, permitting and revenue sharing.

This is not the first time the two cities have partnered along their borders. Fifteen years ago a similar agreement resulted in a mixed-use project that created benefits for both cities. Partnering with a developer such as Sudberry provided the impetus for both cities to push past minor differences. Helping property owners, assisting development and creating a quality project is a shared commitment between both cities and the Sudberry team. Given the recent developments on freeway corridors such as the Plaza Bonita Mall expansion and the Marina Gateway and Best Western Hotel -- as its slogan states -- National City is truly "in the center of it all."

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